Hating Norman Rockwell and Latin Mass More Than ‘New Coke’?

The pope prefers to see the world through the pixel-tinted glasses of modernism.

If you missed the homily that Pope Francis delivered Sunday, November 15, it railed against the “infection of indifference” and encouraged Christians to actively assist the poor. One headline about that homily (“Pope tells Christians to break rules“) for the fourth “World Day of the Poor” gave reason to hope that the pope had counseled civil

disobedience against restrictions on religious freedom. But what he preached instead was an ode to the outstretched hand.

It wasn’t just that, however. One curious thing about Pope Francis is that even when you make allowances for the embroidery in his public statements or ignore scandalous foolishness in his Instagram account, you come away from almost anything he says with a keen sense of how impatient he is with doctrinal constraints. Francis seems to regard doctrine as something that hinders pastoral practice rather than empowering it. Last Sunday’s sermon was ostensibly about the parable of the talents, but have a look at this eyebrow-raising paragraph:

The Lord asks us to make the most of the present moment, not yearning for the past, but waiting industriously for his return. How ugly is that nostalgia, which is like a black mood poisoning our soul and making us always look backwards, always at others, but never at our own hands or at the opportunities for work that the Lord has given us…

Has any other pope taken so dim a view of nostalgia, or been so unwilling to acknowledge what G.K. Chesterton famously called “the democracy of the dead”? It’s passages like that which Pope Francis later recycles into broadsides against his critics for being obstructionist. He can also weaponize those same words to give a veneer of respectability to favored minions working with him to advance a “new world order” or “great reset” that inevitably elbows the church aside in pursuit of an ersatz facsimile of the Kingdom of God. We can only pray that he won’t.  

Leave a Reply